Ospreys drop second game at home, second in a row

Spinnaker

By Josh Brannock, Sports Editor

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After starting Atlantic Sun conference play hot, UNF had hit a rough patch. Losing two of its last four conference games, the team looked to bounce back against an athletic USC Upstate team Jan. 14 at UNF.

The Ospreys struggled converting easy opportunities at the line and were dominated by SCUS on the boards causing UNF to lose its second conference game 69-62.

“In a game like this when you know it’s going to be a nip and tuck game they made them and we didn’t,” Coach Matthew Driscoll said when talking about the overall game and the end. “When you’re playing for second place and to stay with two losses, you have to play with a greater sense of urgency. For whatever reason we just weren’t there when we needed to be.”

UNF was out rebounded by the Spartans 30-21, but the biggest difference was in offensive rebounds. SCUS managed to get 13 offensive rebounds compared to just five by UNF.

Leading scorer Torrey Craig had six offensive rebounds on his own, including two in one possession that led to a score. Craig had 17 points, but shot just six for 14 from the field. Forward Rogers Chalmers provided nine points for the Spartans as he shot a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond-the-arc.

UNF had multiple chances to take command of the game, but could never come up with the stop on the other end. One example is when Parker Smith hit a three pointer that gave UNF a one point lead with 7:15 left to play in the game. At the other end SCUS managed to draw a foul and made both of its free throws to regain the lead. The largest lead for the Ospreys was just three points which came with 2:22 left to play in the first half.

The game was close, but UNF couldn’t hit a shot in the final minute of the game which widened the lead for the Spartans.

Smith led the Ospreys with 16 points, shot three for four from three, as he changed his typical style of play. Smith attacked the basket more often and managed to get six points from layups.

“I was just trying to get around my guy and make a play,” Smith said. “They stayed up on me trying to deny the shot.

Defensively for UNF freshmen Fred Landers had the tough assignment of guarding Craig majority of the time he played.

“I thought in the first half we had a sense of urgency to play defense, but in the second half we kind of lost it,” Landers said. “Even though I pretty much played a role on defense I think everyone played a role,” he said when asked about his coverage on Craig.

The Ospreys take the court again Jan. 16 for their last home game before hitting the road for four straight games. UNF will host East Tennessee State University who is coming off of a 72-58 win over Jacksonville University.

Forward Jerron Grannberry was hurt during the game when he landed awkwardly on his back after a hard foul. He did return to the game, but no word yet on how extensive his injury actually is.